Unlimited: Our Gospel Debt to Others
Dec 11, 2023 248
They were pleased to do it, and indeed they owe it to them. For if the Gentiles have shared in the Jews’ spiritual blessings, they owe it to the Jews to share with them their material blessings (Romans 15:27).
Why did the Macedonian believers give so much, even when they couldn’t afford to do so? It was because they owed a debt. How could they have a debt to far-away people whom they had never known? It’s the same debt that we owe. It’s a Gospel debt.
A Gospel debt is different to earthly debts. It isn’t a debt of legal obligation. It isn’t that we have to repay what Christ has done on the Cross to save us, so that we earn our salvation. Instead, it is simply a debt of gratitude, which all who have been saved, having transformed hearts, will always repay.
It is always a joy to repay our Gospel debt.
We tend to think of repaying debts in terms of like for like. If we owe money we will repay money. If we owe someone a meal we will give them a meal. But our Gospel debt is repaid in every currency available to us. Our Gospel debt is repaid with our entire lives.
When the apostle describes his collection for the poor in Jerusalem in verses 25–27, he uses a word that is closely related to “pleasure” or “pleased,” as in the KJV and ASV. It is often burdensome for us to have to repay a debt, however it is always a joy to repay our Gospel debt.
To whom do you owe a “Gospel debt”? Maybe it’s someone from your past with whom you haven’t been in contact for some time. Or perhaps it’s someone close to you today. Make a point of thanking them wholeheartedly for the gift they gave you.